COVID-19 likely will have a lasting influence on home styles.
By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey for NAR
The pandemic has influenced so many areas of our lives these past few months. It’s not surprising that it’s also affecting the design of our homes. Let’s look at some of the biggest home design trends influenced by the pandemic.
5. The waning appeal of open floor plans.
A growing complaint with the open floor plan: It’s noisy. As many people transitioned to remote work, a lack of barriers to buffer noise became a real problem.
The open floor plan combines the kitchen and living space to form one big, open room. It isn’t exactly the best for privacy or concentration. Add in hardwood flooring, and sounds can really echo.
But homeowners aren’t rushing to add walls just yet. Instead, they’re turning to privacy screens to section off areas, or they’re adding in large area rugs or artwork to help absorb noise.
If the open floor plan really wanes in popularity, it will become apparent first in new-home construction and then in home remodeling. In new homes, we may start to see more pocket doors used to close off open spaces, kitchens slightly angled off from the living room, and privacy nooks.
4. More storage, particularly in the kitchen.
During the pandemic, the nation rushed to stock up on food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. So, the need for storage became greater. Homeowners added extra shelving to pantries or overflow storage in laundry rooms and garages.
Realtor.com® recently called out a new trend: the kitchen island rolling cart. These carts on wheels can be added into your kitchen to add storage and counterspace. Roll them to wherever you need more storage.
3. Gardening as a new favorite hobby.
The backyard is getting more attention while we spend more time at home. One re-emerging trend is the “victory garden,” which first started in World War I in response to food shortages.
Homeowners are now planting their own victory gardens. They can be expansive or fit in the tightest of spots, such as a vertical garden or inside a patio container. Homeowners may favor some of the fastest-growing vegetables in their victory gardens, such as lettuce, radishes, carrots, spinach, and bell peppers.
2. Expansive outdoor spaces.
Homeowners are looking to extend their indoor space to the outdoors in multiple ways. The front porch, for example, has become important as a place where you can be outside and connect with neighbors from afar. It’s also a popular backdrop for family photos.
Backyards both big and small also are getting spruced up. Fire pits are particularly popular. Outdoor furnishings are being used to create cozier spaces, and hammocks add to a serene ambiance. A pergola can provide a covered space overhead, or homeowners can use an overgrown tree in their yard as a canopy for a small dining space or cozy seating area.
1. The growth of home offices.
With more homeowners working remotely, the home office has grown in importance. In fact, many households are finding that having just one home office isn’t enough. The pop-up home office is emerging, turning small closets into an extra office nook or sectioning off corners of a room to add a workspace that blends in with the rest of the space.
As remote work surges, the home office will likely remain important and become a huge selling point in real estate moving forward.
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